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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 37 - James Harden and Rockets blast past Sixers in 2020 opener

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The Sixers haven’t won a single game this year!

Philadelphia 76ers v Houston Rockets Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

For a refresher on our Bell Ringer series, take a look back at our first post of the season.

Bell Ringer Standings

Tobias Harris - 8
Joel Embiid - 8
Ben Simmons - 7
Josh Richardson - 7
Matisse Thybulle - 3
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Al Horford - 1
James Ennis - 1

The Sixers played with much more energy than they did Tuesday afternoon in Indiana. However, energy doesn’t automatically provide you with the answer for stopping the league’s leading scorer, and James Harden shot 6-of-12 from downtown and 12-of-12 from the foul line on his way to a 44-point triple-double. With Clint Capela chipping in 30 points and 14 rebounds, the Rockets held a comfortable lead for most of the evening in a 118-108 victory. Let’s cover what did go right for the Sixers and choose a Bell Ringer.

Ben Simmons: 29 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks, 3 turnovers

The Sixers may have trailed on the scoreboard, but they finished dead-even in triple-doubles for the night. Until he gets over the mental hurdle of shooting outside shots (which noticeably hurt the Sixers’ spacing at times tonight), this was about as good as it gets from Ben Simmons. He took a season-high 20 shot attempts, pushing the pace whenever possible to create easy looks for himself and others. SImmons also was a more willing roll man than usual; in particular, he and Josh Richardson had a tremendous two-man game working. Ben accounted for six of Josh’s eight assists on the evening.

Defensively, he flat-out picked Russell Westbrook’s pocket, leading to a Furkan Korkmaz dunk at the close of the third quarter. Simmons also caught Harden unawares with inside of two minutes left in the game to knock the ball away from behind and briefly keep hope alive. The four blocks matched a career-high; he did a great job on the play in the fourth quarter to stay in front of Harden through all his razzle-dazzle and catch the ball as the Beard was trying to go up with it in the lane.

Trey Burke: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover

The Sixers needed to downsize to match Houston’s tempo and Burke was the right call in that regard. I mean, look at how Trey hit the NOS to race down the floor here.

Burke shot 5-of-7 from the field, routinely blowing by his man to bank in a jumper or high-arcing finger roll. He made a savvy drop-off after a drive to Simmons for a dunk and whipped a sweet cross-court pass to Korkmaz for a 3. The defense wasn’t great, but Trey provided a helpful offensive spark in his 16-plus minutes of playing time.

Joel Embiid: 20 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers

I liked Embiid and Westbrook getting tangled up, leading to Russ getting called for a foul and T’d up for complaining about it. I didn’t like the fact the Joel still hasn’t beaten Russ on the scoreboard where it counts. Embiid wasn’t anywhere near his best tonight, too often getting beat down the floor by Clint Capela. Still, even in the midst of a subpar 7-of-17 shooting night, Embiid had his moments. He bailed the Sixers out at the end of the shot clock with a long jumper. He sank a handful of face-up jumpers and out of the extended post. And he made a terrific play towards the end of the second quarter to jump a James Harden pass and lead a give-and-go on the runout with Simmons, ending with a bucket for Ben.

Tobias Harris: 24 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 0 turnovers

Tobi hit his fair share of shots in an 8-of-18, 2-of-4 from 3 effort. He started off the game’s scoring by swishing an open 3 from the corner, and finished strong as well, scoring a team-high 10 points in the fourth quarter. Some of those late makes were extremely tough floaters or pull-up jumpers that Harris created himself out of essentially nothing. Harris didn’t contribute in a lot of other areas, but you’ll take a fairly efficient scoring outing from him where he didn’t turn the ball over.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer for the Sixers’ first loss of 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Ben Simmons
    (539 votes)
  • 4%
    Trey Burke
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    Joel Embiid
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    Tobias Harris
    (8 votes)
583 votes total Vote Now